Samsung has already confirmed that it will be revealing its smartwatch at the upcoming Samsung Unpacked event in a couple of days. Rumors are that it will be called the Samsung Galaxy Gear, and this weekend, we saw some ridiculous photos of a likely prototype over at VentureBeat.
Some think this is the real deal, but I have to believe that Samsung has more sense than to release a device that looks more like a Galaxy Note or Galaxy Mega watch. Om Malik posted that these are images of a prototype, but also wrote that the lame 10-hour battery life may be real.
The photos show a very large watch with four front visible screws, a display that's 3 inches diagonal in size, and a 4-megapixel camera. It may also only connect to a Samsung Galaxy phone or tablet, have S Voice for voice control, and include Samsung health apps.
It also may only have a 10-hour battery life with active use, which is ridiculous and in my opinion makes the watch basically useless. Who in the world wants a watch they have to charge daily and that may not even go a full day with heavy usage?
I used Microsoft SPOT watches back in 2004 — I still have a couple in my collection — and liked the idea of having a watch you could just glance at and get the essentials. I was a Kickstarter backer of the Pebble smartwatch, and find that watch to be excellent when partnered with my Android smartphones. I wear it daily, and think it is nearly perfect for a smartwatch. I also backed the Agent smartwatch, since it offers connectivity to Windows Phone as well as Android and iOS, with functions such as wireless charging and more.
As you can see, I am a perfect candidate for the upcoming Galaxy Gear watch and rumored iWatch. Samsung's watch must look better than what the current photos show. It also shouldn't try to include the entire kitchen sink in a watch that must be partnered with a smartphone anyway. I would love the healthy tracking functionality seen in the FuelBand, Fitbit, or Up included in a watch to eliminate one extra device I carry, but not if that means I have to charge my watch daily.
Standard watches seem to be getting more popular, even with everyone having a phone with a clock already in their pocket. A smartwatch offers more than just the time. For example, I love that my Pebble vibrates, shows me who is calling, and lets me keep my phone in my pocket, on my desk, or in my bag without having to pick it up if I don't want to take the call.
The ability to glance at the watch and see key information coming into your phone is actually quite useful. However, I don't think you need such a watch with a camera or the ability to play Angry Birds. These watches need to last a long time, my Pebble goes at least a week between charges, and provide just the essentials. Why would you want to take a crappy photo with your watch when your phone with a great camera is in your pocket?
It will be interesting to see what Samsung actually launches, but if it is like its Galaxy smartphones, it will have way too much software and Samsung functions that people use for a week until the novelty wears off. I am looking forward to what Apple may launch, too, but until then, my Pebble meets all of my smartwatch needs and gets better weekly, with developers offering lots of cool watch faces and functions.